Police union lobby government with mobile billboard arguing for pay rise

Published by the Herald Sun on 26 November 2019

The pay dispute between the police union and the state government is heating up will be taken to another level today, ahead of planned industrial action later this month.

The police union will step up their fight for a “fair and reasonable” pay rise today by driving a mobile billboard around state parliament.

The billboard says: “Police have to fight for their lives, they shouldn’t have to fight the government for a pay rise as well”.

Talks between the union and the state government have broken down, with the union saying the government will not budge on its 2 per cent cap on annual wage rises.

They instead want a 4 per cent pay rise.

It comes as the Herald Sun revealed the powerful union will launch widespread industrial action next month unless it improves its “outrageously offensive” pay offer.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt today said the current enterprise agreement expires on Saturday night and he was keen to get the deal sorted.

“Our members are very, very concerned they only have a couple days left on the current enterprise agreement and we have not received a wage offer from the state government,” he told the Herald Sun.

“It is now the eleventh hour.

“This is really worrying for police and PSOs across the state. From their perspective it is deeply concerning.

“All they want is a fair deal, keeping Victorians safe.”

Voting commenced yesterday to approve action including writing messages on police cars, stopping handing out speeding fines and campaigning at railway stations.

The union has 17,200 members who will cast their votes this week.

“This is a cheap distraction for us, we simply want our police and PSOs to settle these wage

negotiations and get on with their jobs, which is keeping Victorians safe 24/7 in the toughest policing environment we have had.” Sergeant Gatt said.

“Police are fighting for their lives, we have been dragged to a fight, kicking and screaming.

“The message is pretty clear, police don’t want to fight. Support the people who are supporting the community. Dan Andrews, help us settle this.”

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the government was in “incredibly constructive” discussions with the police union.

“I still remain very confident we will get a fair outcome that absolutely acknowledges the contribution and work of our police officers,” Minister Neville said.

“I know we need to reach an agreement, the agreement is about to expire.

“I want to make sure our police officers get the support they need. This agreement isn’t just about wages, it’s about minimum service levels, it’s about mental health issues.

“We are looking right across the board about how we best support our police.”

She said she was not looking at roster changes but discussion was taking place about more flexible working arrangements.